Help Students do the R E A C H — ing
OK, so SMART goals we know are:
- S = Specific
- M = Measurable
- A = Attainable
- R = Relevant
- T = Time-lined
And I’ll bet most of you would agree that being able to phrase one’s aims in these ways is a hugely important life skill. We can help students to create SMART goals for their own learning and application of REACH domains. I’ll bet many of you have had conversations very much like this one:
- Student: Oh, I can’t deal with another finals week like this one! I want to be a more responsible student!
- You: Hey, that’s a great idea, and you know responsibility is one of our priorities for your development. Do you have a particular goal in mind?
- Student: Yes! I’ll get better grades next semester.
- You: You’ll help yourself get there by setting a “SMARTer” goal. Can you make that goal more specific and more measurable?
- Student: I guess next semester I will try to get at least a C on all my tests, and at least a B on most of my quizzes and homework assignments.
- You: All right, but how are those grades attainable? Could you schedule an appointment with the Tomás Rivera Center for some academic coaching and incorporate some of their recommendations? Then write these specifics down and track your progress on a time-line as early grades start coming in.
- Student: OK, so I will set aside 20 minutes after each class to review my lecture notes, and prioritize assignments for my morning study time. I will also go to my professor’s office hours with specific questions at least twice per month. I’ll create my own grade-tracking spreadsheet based on the syllabus and use it to keep up to date on my progress each week.
- You: Sounds great! One more thing… How is your goal relevant to being more responsible? What does responsibility mean to you?
- Student: Thanks for asking! I appreciate how that question is an important part of an effective goal. I’d say grades are relevant because they are one measure of accountability to myself and to my family for my education and for making good choices as an adult who does what I say I’ll do.
Being a REACH educator is about supporting and challenging students to create their own goals for owning and practicing the REACH domains. It’s often about asking the right questions, and the SMART goal framework can certainly help. Summertime on campus can be a great time for having more in-depth conversations with students. Stay cool and enjoy!
Submitted by —
Student Leadership Development
Training Schedule for Fall 2016 - Coming Soon.
REACH / Four C’s Training Resource Links
Any questions or comments? Please send us an email at VPSA@utsa.edu.